GOING WITH THE GRAIN BY AIDAN SAMUELS
The Beauty & History of Analouge Photographic Equipment
“Cameras are tools of time. They can take a fraction of a second and turn it into a century. In this book, I cover a selection of my favorite analouge cameras I’ve owned, worked with, or otherwise been around in my time so far.” – Aidan Samuels
Another one of those that are not so much a photo book review, but a review on a book about film cameras…or really the love of them. Author, Aidan Samuels, writes in the book’s intro about finding a Minolta SR-T 200 simply for a prop for a high school project. The camera came with a half shot roll of film from at least 20 years prior, which got him curious to shoot the final 10 shots and gift back the photos.
What struck him was how both his and the previous owners images separated by at leasts two decades appeared equally timeless in nature. It was the tangibility of the light leaks degradation etc combined with the gratitude from the previous owner’s daughter that not only prompted his photographic journey but the book here.
It is with this the book begins with naturally a Minolta SR-T 200 laying the book structure of about 2-8 pages per a camera. In these pages you get the basic camera information and his personal interaction with it as well as the camera’s history with some high quality shots. you get some contact sheet scans, photographs, original manual information, etc. This is a simplification though perhaps as the layouts are all very dynamic so the book never feels repetitive while cycling through just under 30 cameras. This is divided into 3 chapters: The Classics, The Good Stuff, and Let’s Get Weird.
From the 3 chapters one could perhaps guess some of the cameras (I won’t give them away, you will have to purchase the book to find out). Classic is the aforementioned first camera in the Minolta SR-T. I will let you guess which Canon(s) and Pentax are featured thereafter. Both of which were among my first cameras that were quite prevalent in the US. This section also includes point-and-shoots, rangefinder, medium format, etc.
The good stuff begins with my go to camera over the last 3 decades in the Leica M3 complete with the same lens and light meter combo on the DR Summicron 50mm and MR meter. There is a Hasselblad, Contax, Nikon, Mamiya, etc in there as well. The weird includes some interesting selections.
The book concludes with what is too one of my favorite quotes by Ansel Adams:
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
This is then followed by an autobiography on the author….
You can order the book here. It is 120 pages and a 8.5×11″ hardcover book jam-packed with high-quality pictures, history, anecdotes, sample images & more of a sampling of iconic analogue cameras. Check it out!